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Texas couple dies in Fiji; Henderson family awaiting answers

Posted at 6:22 PM, Jun 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-05 21:22:22-04

HENDERSON (KTNV) — The deaths of an American couple who became suddenly ill while vacationing in Fiji in late May remains under investigation by health officials on the South Pacific Island and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Texas residents David and Michelle Paul arrived in Fiji on May 22.

Michelle's parents live in Henderson and shared their heartbreak with 13 Action News.

It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime but they did not make it out of Fiji alive.

"I never thought about them dying," said Marc Calang as he looked at a photo his daughter sent him when she arrived to Fiji.

"It was taken in Fiji. I'm sure because of the hair style," said Marc.

Marc and his wife Juliet said their daughter Michelle and son- in-law David had always wanted to visit Fiji because the loved the island life.

"We just finished our Mother's Day. She [gave] me beautiful flowers," said Juliet.

Juliet said the couple had visited them in Henderson in May to dropped off their two-year-old son Ayden.

They had agreed to watch him during the couple's trip.

Marc told 13 Action News, David and Michelle had moved from Hawaii to Fort Worth to buy a house and to raise Ayden.

Calanog said the couple went to a restaurant on May 22 to celebrate David's 38th birthday.

"She sent me some texts through WhatsApp and that's the first time I heard from her. She said she was getting sick, they were getting diarrhea," said Marc.

Three days later Michelle died.

RELATED: A Texas couple on holiday in Fiji died from an unidentified illness

"I can only speak for Michelle, she died of severe pulmonary hemorrhage and severe cerebral edema," said Marc.

Then two days after Michelle's death, David died.

"This is very very unusual," said Marc.

What led up to the couple's sudden death not known.

Marc and Juliet are hopeful they will get answers soon.

Fiji's Ministry of Health told them s the cause of death is still being investigated but that influenza had been ruled out.

The Calanogs have chosen to not to speculate about what may have happened, their focus instead is on their grandson.

"Parents are not supposed to bury their kids."